Awesome Lobbies of Beijing – The Opposite Hotel

Black Friday Special and Super Duper Photomatix Coupon

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Also, have you been waiting for Photomatix Pro? They gave me a code of TREY2012 for 25% off. When this coupon expires, the normal 15% discount for the code TREYRATCLIFF will continue. This is the software I use in the HDR Tutorial here on the site (in case you are new!).

More from The Opposite Hotel

This is the second photo I have posted from this hotel – you can see the other one here: The Opposite Hotel.

Daily Photo – Awesome Lobbies of Beijing – The Opposite Hotel

Everything about this hotel was pretty funky. Yes, they were trying too hard to be edgy-funky, but that’s okay, because it kinda worked. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there was subtlety here in the funkiness. The decision to be bold and different was evident in every little detail of the hotel.

Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, make sure you stop by and have a look inside!

Opposite Hotel Beijing Lobby

Awesome Lobbies of Beijing – The Opposite Hotel

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  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
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The Internal Weather System

Beijing Taxi Video

Here’s a video from when I was in Beijing… trying to get to my hotel… the more I showed him the map, the more confused he got..

Daily Photo – The Internal Weather System

This is another view inside the cavernous symphony hall in Beijing. The place is so enormous that you can see the beginnings of little clouds inside when the lights move a certain way. I actually think only part of it is related to the size – the other part is related to the awful pollution all around Beijing. There is so much particulate in the air, and it fills up inside big places like this. When the distance is obscured by cloud-matter, it makes everything feel more epic and grand (albeit dirty!).

Concert hall opera symphony beijing

The Internal Weather System

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  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
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The Resting Egg

Getting the Light Right

This is my favorite time of day to shoot. I love it when there is a little bit of light that is both natural and artificial. I always use Photomatix (see my HDR Tutorial if this is all new to you) to process my photos, but I find it is especially receptive to these sorts of lighting conditions.

Daily Photo – The Resting Egg

National Centre for the Performing Arts in China is one of the easiest AND most challenging things to photograph. This is an interesting duality, I think. Obviously, it’s a beautiful structure, and it’s easy to access and circumnavigate, but that is not the “easy” that I mean. I suppose it’s easy because it’s hard to take a bad picture of the the structure. The challenging bit is doing something very interesting. And that comes with the use of light and composition. I have hundreds of photos of this thing — and the challenging part to me is picking “the most interesting” — it’s a fun task that never gets old!

National Centre for the Performing Arts (China)

The Resting Egg

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  • ISO100
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Colored Lanterns

Extended Interview from Australian TV

Here’s the longer cut of the interview… actually, I think this is uncut!

Daily Photo – Chinese Lanterns

Whenever I walk around taking photos, I usually have two cameras with me. My second camera usually has a 50mm prime, or something along these lines. I capture thousands and thousands of little photos, but I hardly ever post them. I don’t know why… maybe it is sort of the one-photo-per-day thing here on the blog. I guess I could post more, but I don’t want it to get too busy… or… well, I don’t know. I don’t have a great reason. But, anyway, here is one of those little photos that I take with my walkin-around-camera from a small shop in Beijing.

Lanterns in China

Chinese Lanterns

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  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
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Overgrown Tower Atop the Great Wall

Article from the Mountain Scene

Here’s a recent article from The Mountain Scene by Paul Taylor about the video below… glad it turned out so popular! I’ll embed the video below in case you have not seen it yet… thanks again!

Cutting Room Floor of My Favorite Musicians

I have a huge list of music that I like, which I suspect is no different than you. Some of it is niche, and I was thinking that I would love to have tracks from the cutting room floor. Like, for example, I’d love to hear some of the lost tracks of Patrick iO’Hearn, Bel Canto (Anneli Drecker), David Darling, Jami Sieber, and more (I picked some niche ones there). All these musicians must have stuff they’ve thrown away that I would find quite interesting!

Daily Photo – Overgrown Tower Atop the Great Wall

You may remember seeing towers that connect the sections of the Great Wall. Here I am inside of one of them that has fallen to ruins and the vegetation has taken over. You can see the tree jutting up from the left and how everything else is slowly crumbling back into the soil.

The stairs to the right are barely usable, and I went up them to get a good view of the sunset and have a snack.

Overgrown Tower Atop the Great Wall

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  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
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Walking Further Along the Ancient Great Wall

Updated Review

If you want some cool filters for Video, I recommend Magic Bullet Looks! I updated my Magic Bullet Looks review after I used it to make this video below. By the way, thanks for telling your friends and everyone about it… I just released it and it already got over 150,000 views, so thanks!

A great app if you have Apple TV

This is sort of a niche recommendation. But if you have Apple TV and you have an iPad and want to play movies from your computer, try an app called “Air Video”. I use it all the time to play video files and then share them from the iPad up onto the Apple TV.

Daily Photo – Walking Farther Along the Ancient Great Wall

Some of the places I visited on this ancient, original stretch of the Great Wall were almost too covered in vegetation to navigate. Thick conifers and strange plants would block this way and that. I listened to music and that made everything even more surreal.

I had always heard that the top of the Great Wall was so wide that five horses could ride side by side (16 feet across). When you are up there, it seems even wider with all the trees and plants, and you almost forget you are on top of the wall itself.

Walking Farther Along the Ancient Great Wall

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  • ISO100
  • Focal Length34mm (34mm in 35mm)
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Shopping Scene from Beijing

Awesome App – Hotel Tonight

I’ve been using this app, Hotel Tonight, for a while now. It’s a really neat concept – every day at noon, hotels from all over the US release their unsold inventory for sale in this app at rock-bottom prices. If you’re able to wait until the last minute to book, you can get some amazing deals… it really saved the day during my recent trip to NYC. New York hotels can get quite expensive, but I got a great price using the app.

Virtual Photo Walks

During the New York event, we also decided to do this thing called a “Virtual Photo Walk” where we were able to have many other people join us at the event. People that join these events are often those that can’t walk or physically join us, so it is kind of a fun and cool thing to do. I put a little highlight video that they made over on the right.

Chinese People Love Them Some Apple

So I don’t know if I ever mentioned this on the blog or not. I don’t think I have. But whenever I walk into coffee shops or these sorts of places in China, a good 50% of the crowd has out their Apple devices. They proudly work/play along on them, having a grand old time. It’s so mega-trendy there that I can see this is just the beginning there…

Daily Photo – Shopping Scene from Beijing

Speaking of parallel universes (the question from yesterday), I often imagine I have side-stepped into one when I travel to other cities, especially as global commerce becomes more homogenized. For example, maybe you can see the Apple store in the background there. When you walk in, everything is exactly the same except for the language and all the Chinese people (of course). Now, this may seem like a totally obvious thing, but it is one of those other universes that is right in the middle of our own.

Shopping Scene from Beijing

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  • ISO100
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The Opera Scene

Back on Schedule

When I was getting moved into my new place in NZ, my posts became a little irregular. I never missed a day, but sometimes I was a little late rather than my normal midnight-central-time schedule! Anyway, things should be back to normal now… I was burning the candle at both ends… (not that I’m doing any less now… I just got that bit of my life under control!)

Daily Photo – The Opera Scene

The Chinese Opera almost has more photo opportunities than Burning Man. There are at least half-as-intense in their costumes, and every pose they get into seems like it is ready for a photo!

I took a great many photos that evening, and I still have many more to process. As I scrubbed through in Lightroom, this one really jumped out!

The Opera Scene

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  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length85mm (85mm in 35mm)
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The Great Wall Stretches Across the Sunset

Beginner Class Giant Success!

Thanks again everyone for jumping into the New Training Course we announced a few days ago. It’s been a huge success and I really want to thank you all for all the support. It was a lot of fun to make, and I’m glad you’re getting a lot out of it! :)

Daily Photo – The Great Wall Stretches Across the Sunset

Beautiful China! Isn’t the Great Wall an awesome thing? It’s so epic in every way. I do what I can to make it feel as epic as it deserves. On one of my nights there, the sun dipped halfway behind a hill. I saw it happening while I was walking along the wall by myself, so I set up for this shot…

The Great Wall Stretches Across the Sunset

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  • ISO160
  • Focal Length82mm (82mm in 35mm)
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Musician at the Chinese Opera

Invite to the Variety Hour

Over on Google+, I’ve started doing these weekly invites to the Variety Hour. You can accept over there, and it automatically shows up in your calendar… I think it’s a pretty cool feature.

As always, watch here on the blog too. The upcoming show has several cool and secret prizes to hand out! :)

Daily Photo – Musician at the Chinese Opera

It was my second visit to this particular opera and my third visit to a Chinese opera. I was fortunate enough to be able to move freely around the venue, as long as I did not get in the way of the performers. That wasn’t very easy, since the performers would often just start running down and around the aisles! They would dart this way and that, run around columns come in and out of random doors and re-use the same pathways that I was navigating. So I had to be on constant alert!

There was one girl that was playing a very unusual Chinese instrument. I’ll never get the name of it right, so I won’t even try… but she had this most unusual hat that I thought was quite nice…

Musician at the Chinese Opera

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  • Aperturef/2.5
  • ISO14368
  • Focal Length85mm (85mm in 35mm)
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